It can be overwhelming, but you have to start somewhere and your laundry is a good place to start. Look at the labels on your laundry products. If you see warnings or words that you can't pronounce, stop using them. Just as you don’t want to put toxic food in your body, you don’t want to inhale toxins or absorb them through your skin either. Plus they are contaminating the environment.
There are loads 🙂 of toxic chemicals, even carcinogens in many standard laundry care products. I encourage you to check the safety of the listed ingredients. Run them through the Environmental Working Group’s Healthy Living App (ewg.org) if you don't know what they are. Only use products that you understand and know are safe and natural. Typically they are more expensive than large containers of cheap, toxic laundry soap.
But you do have options;
- Buy natural biodegradable laundry products.
- Soap Nuts - I have never personally tried these, but hear they work really well, are economical, easy to find online and completely biodegradable.
- Make your own.
DIY laundry soap recipe;
- 2 bars Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Bar Soap, finely grated
- 2 cups Washing Soda
- 2 cups Borax
- 1 cup Oxygen Boost
- 15 drops Orange Essential Oil
- Mix well, use heaping 1/8 cup per normal load
The hardest part of making this is grating the bars of soap, I usually delegate the task to an idle child. You, of course, could change up the scents of the bars or the oils to your liking. I get the Bronner’s Soap, Washing Soda and Borax at the grocery store, and the Oxygen Boost and Essential Oil on-line.
Adding ½ cup vinegar to the rinse cycle really helps with softening and deodorizing. Not exactly the intended use, but I use a Downy Dispensing Ball that a friend gave me. It releases the vinegar during the rinse cycle. For treating stains, you can use a vinegar and baking soda paste.
Dryer sheets are a big offender. We use wool dryer balls that we bought at our Farmers Market. You can get them online or you could also make them. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials online. As a bonus, dryer balls cut down on drying time by about 10 minutes per load and help soften clothes. My daughters miss the dryer sheet smell. Too bad… just not worth it. You can put essential oil on the balls to give your clothes a nice scent if desired.
For those of you using dry cleaners, I have seen more and more green cleaners popping up. I don’t think they are available everywhere yet though. Country living bonus, we don’t have much use for clothes that have to be dry cleaned.
There it is, all-natural laundry care. This is just one small step towards cleaning up your home. Tackle this one, then move on to the next. Clean living is a process! Questions, comments, and shares are welcomed.